One gold-rule assure of the 2022 Beijing Games is that followers at dwelling will see new information and well-known firsts emerge among the many 109 occasions on the snow and ice.
“I feel it’s true with all Olympic sports activities: Athletes are challenged to reimagine what the bounds are,” says Mike Tirico, who will anchor his third straight Video games. The identical goes for the networks of NBC, which can broadcast and stream 3,000-plus hours of protection over 19 days.
Listed below are 5 American stars who might end atop the rostrum.
The Edwards, Colorado, native was solely 18 when she turned the youngest slalom champion in Olympic alpine snowboarding historical past on the 2014 Sochi Video games. She added an enormous slalom gold in 2018, and this time round, “She has the potential to be concerned in 5 occasions the place she might win medals,” says Tirico. That journey could also be much more grueling than what Michael Phelps needed to do to make swimming historical past. “The disciplines have such a specialty [aspect] to them,” Tirico says, referring to the nice technical gulf between slaloming round gates, rushing down hills (and round fewer gates) within the super-G and rocketing at 80 mph within the downhill. Taking a break after shedding her father final yr, Shiffrin is again in combating kind. Says Tirico, “For a lot of causes, Mikaela might be an athlete America will simply root for.”
The 2018 PyeongChang Video games favourite earned solely a bronze within the staff occasion after choking in his brief program within the males’s singles skate. Turning that failure round turned a mission for the Salt Lake Metropolis athlete, who then gained 14 straight worldwide occasions. “That offers you a way of his greatness,” says Tirico of Quad King Chen, now a three-time world champion. However will the strain get to him once more on the largest stage? Both method, Tirico expects a greater consequence, even in a crowded area that features Japan’s two-time Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. “Nathan is definitely proper there with the favorites to win gold,” he says, including, “He’s most likely the favourite.”
“The U.S. victory [in men’s curling] was a shock in 2018,” says Tirico. Chisolm, Minnesota, roller Shuster—now set for his fifth Olympics—engineered that shock, which gave Crew USA its first gold (and second medal ever) in six Video games of competitors. Shuster “introduced loads of consideration to the game,” Tirico provides, noting that having him again to slip these 40-pound granite stones “might be thrilling.”
With NHL gamers benched on account of COVID, the lads’s hockey competitors might be with out its greatest names. However for Tirico, the rivalry between the U.S. ladies—led by Palo Alto, California’s Knight—and Canada could also be extra spectacular anyway. “It’s the very best rivalry in winter sports activities,” he says, noting that the groups have cut up all six golds (Canada leads with 4). Star and mentor Knight, 32, connects the youthful and older generations of athletes. Says Tirico, “It’s an unimaginable legacy.”
Elana Meyers Taylor
A four-time world champion, the Douglas-ville, Georgia, bobsled pilot—who took up the game after placing out on her Olympic softball goals—earned silver within the two-woman contest in 2018 and also will race within the inaugural one-person “monobob” occasion. Amongst her high rivals: new teammate Kaillie Humphries, the previous Canadian star simply granted U.S. citizenship. “They each have a chance to win medals,” Tirico predicts.
Worldwide Athletes to Watch
The Netherlands’ Ireen Wüst, the primary velocity skater to win 11 Olympic medals, appears to be like to repeat her gold within the 1,500 meters. Canada’s Mikaël Kingsbury, already probably the most adorned mogul skier ever, goals to defend his gold. Germany’s Francesco Friedrich, who piloted each his two-man and four-man bobsleds to 2018 gold, nonetheless dominates. Japan’s Sara Takanashi has 4 total World Cup ski leaping titles, however with just one Olympic bronze, she’s due. Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Bø, a three-time total World Cup biathlon champ, should add to his particular person gold and relay silvers to make sure his place as an all-time nice.
Winter Olympics, Friday, February 4, 6:55am/5:55c, NBC
That is an excerpt from TV Information Journal’s 2022 Preview challenge. For extra inside scoop on what’s coming to TV and streaming within the new yr, choose up the problem, on newsstands.